I will admit, this is my sweet spot. Qualified Small Houses are the up and comers that have the big-guys quaking in their boots. Some of these people have jumped ship from bigger houses. Some are experts in their fields, while others are succeeding because they are not afraid to break the rules.
These companies have the ability to do everything that the bigger houses do, without the name recognition of the larger houses. Royalty rates, in general, are higher, and contract terms (in some cases) are easier to swallow.
While these companies may not have the big sales forces of the large houses, that’s not stopping them from publishing best sellers. Not only that, these houses still see the value in MARKETING, and not just the big titles. They back every book that they publish.
The list of these little gems is not as long as some other lists, because there are not as many “independent publishers” that can boast best sellers. If you know of any that are not on my list, please let me know so I can add them.
Ellora’s Cave (Romance only – Could be considered a big-guy these days.)
Entangled (Strong Romantic Elements Required)
GMMG (Month9Books, Swoon Romance, Tantrum Books)
Lyrical Press (Recently acquired by Kennsington – Romantic Elements Required)